Diel rhythm of volatile emissions of males and females of the peach fruit fly Bactrocera zonata

A. Levi-Zada*, A. Levy, P. Rempoulakis, D. Fefer, S. Steiner, Y. Gazit, D. Nestel, B. Yuval, J. A. Byers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Fruit flies in the genus Bactrocera are among the most destructive insect pests of fruits and vegetables throughout the world. A number of studies have identified volatiles from fruit flies, but few reports have demonstrated behavioral effects or sensitivities of fly antennae to these compounds. We applied a recently developed method of automated headspace analysis using SPME (Solid Phase Microextraction) fibers and GC–MS (gas chromatography mass spectrometry), termed SSGA, to reveal volatiles specific to each sex of B. zonata that are emitted in a diel periodicity. The volatiles released primarily at dusk were identified by GC–MS and chemical syntheses as several spiroacetals, pyrazines, and ethyl esters. Solvent extraction of male rectal glands or airborne collections from each sex, followed by GC–MS, showed that certain of the volatiles increase or decrease in quantity sex-specifically with age of the flies. Electroantennographic (EAG) analysis of dose-response indicates differences in sensitivities of male and female antenna to the various volatiles. Our study provides a comprehensive analysis of the volatile chemicals produced and released by B. zonata and their antennal responses. The possible pheromone and semiochemical roles of the various volatiles released by each sex and the difficulties of establishing behavioral functions are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number103970
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
StatePublished - Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Bactrocera zonata
  • Diurnal rhythm
  • EAG
  • Sequential SPME/GC–MS analysis
  • Tephritidae


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